(NaturalNews) With so much conflicting information out there about which foods are healthy and which foods are not, it can be difficult for many people to determine how best to approach a healthy lifestyle that includes eating well. But a good place to start is to avoid these seven toxic foods, beverages, and additives that are quite common in the American diet.
Diet sodas and beverages sweetened with artificial chemicals. One of the more common dietary misconceptions in mainstream society today is the idea that "diet" beverages are somehow healthier than their sugar-sweetened beverages. Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) saccharin (Sweet'N Low), and sucralose (Splenda) are among the more popular artificial sweeteners used in many diet sodas, juices, chewing gums, and other foods (http://www.naturalnews.com).
Not only are artificial sweeteners bad for your health (http://www.naturalnews.com), but they also tend to promote obesity (http://www.naturalnews.com/022785.html). If you want to protect yourself against chronic illness and toxicity -- aspartame literally converts to formaldehyde in the body and causes metabolic acidosis -- it is best to stick with either raw sugars or natural sugar substitutes like pure stevia extract.
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the silent killer. It is not really much of a secret anymore that HFCS, despite all the corn industry shilling, is a toxic sweetener that should be avoided (http://www.naturalnews.com/hfcs.html). Since it is linked to obesity, brain damage, low IQ, and even mercury poisoning, avoiding all foods that contain HFCS -- this can include breads, cereals, and other seemingly innocuous foods -- will do wonders for your health.
Most vegetable oils, including hydrogenated and 'trans' fat varieties. The misdirected war on saturated fats has convinced millions of people that unsaturated vegetable oils are a healthy alternative. Not only do many vegetables oils turn rancid quickly, which means they are toxic (http://healthwyze.org), but many of them also contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids which, apart from omega-3 fatty acids, can cause severe health problems like heart disease and cancer. (http://www.naturalnews.com/022860.html)
Many vegetable oils are also derived from genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), including canola, soy, and corn oils. These same oils are often hydrogenated as well, a process that turns them into heart-destroying solid oils. Avoiding these and sticking instead to healthy fats like grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and hemp oil will greatly improve your health and lower your risk of disease.
White bread, pasta, and other refined flour foods. They are cheap, plentiful, and come in hundreds of varieties. But white breads, pastas, and other foods made from refined flour are among the top health destroyers in America today. Not only are most white flour products carcinogenic because they are bleached and bromated, but they also lack vital nutrients that are stripped away during processing. Avoid them, and all processed wheat products if possible, to optimize your health.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG), carrageenan, and refined salt. Often hidden in foods under deceptive names (http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html), MSG is a pervasive salt chemical you will want to avoid that is linked to causing headaches, heart problems, brain damage, and other problems. Carrageenan, another chemical additive often hidden in "natural" and organic foods like nut milks and lunch meats, is similarly worth avoiding, as it can cause gastrointestinal upset and colon cancer. (http://www.cornucopia.org)
And processed salt, which is added to just about everything these days, lacks the trace minerals normally present in sea and earth salts, which means it ends up robbing your body of these vital nutrients (http://www.naturalnews.com/028724_Himalayan_salt_sea.html). Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke are just a few of the many conditions that can result from refined salt intake, so your best bet is to stick with unrefined sea salts and other full-spectrum salts.